Unilever supports start-ups with global digital platform

23/05/2014

Unilever has launched The Unilever Foundry, a platform that will provide a single entry-point for start-ups seeking to partner with the global FMCG giant.

The initiative has been set up to let the company’s global brands to experiment with and pilot new technologies.

It will also provide start-ups and entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop and work on global projects, access mentoring from marketing professionals, and tap into a new source of funding through Unilever Ventures.

Keith Weed, Unilever Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, said: “We strive to be at the forefront of marketing and media innovation; to have our brands engage in the most creative, efficient and effective ways with the people we serve. Although we have been working with start-ups for years, we now want to scale up our efforts and, ultimately, embed this as a way of working throughout our organisation.”

“The Unilever Foundry will be our single our platform to harness, nurture and evolve thousands of innovative ideas from the entrepreneurial community. It will simplify the way in which small start-ups and entrepreneurs engage with a company of our size, offering an exciting opportunity for the best and brightest to pilot their technology with us,” adds Marc Mathieu, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing. “Through The Unilever Foundry, we continue the Crafting Brands for Life journey to make our brands more human and more purposeful, while also empowering our marketers to pioneer the future.”

The Foundry will work closely with Unilever Ventures, the Venture capital arm of Unilever. One of the key areas of investment for Unilever Ventures is Digital Marketing, encompassing marketing services business with a focus on mobile marketing, digital media and video, social media, content creation, eCommerce, shopper marketing and big data. Recent examples include Yummly and Brandtone.

“In an always-on, data-driven and connected world, innovative and forward-thinking technology companies will play a vital role in helping our brands continue to engage meaningfully with people everywhere. The Unilever Foundry will open a direct line of communication with all these companies, so we can work together and mutually benefit,” concludes Keith Weed.

www.unilever.com/foundry

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